Buying a Wood constructed Vessel

Wood Constructed Vessels – Buyer beware

Caveat emptor – wood rot is a prevalent issue in most wooden vessels

Marine survey of a very nice wooden ketch undertaken in France

Any prospective purchaser must fully appreciate and understand that the surveyor is NOT able to give an opinion or guarantee as to the extent or degree or equally qualify the degradation / wood rot found at time of inspection WITHOUT EXPOSING SAME.  It is for example quite normal to find sample areas of wood rot in the centre of a plank, but not the inside. And until the plank is removed the extent or degree of any further degradation is an unknown. Therefore, the extent and degree of (any) consequential wood rot penetration & spread, is an unknown and cannot be verified by the surveyor

Equally in any underlying sub-structure scantlings such as timbers, ribs, frames & bearers etc, the full extent and degree of any degradation (wood rot) of such sub-structure, will not be apparent or visible until such time as any fixed structure such as planking, furniture, decks, floors etc are removed thus exposing the sub-structure and enabling further examination

It is therefore prerequisite that any prospective buyer factors in the above when making an offer, plus the possible and consequential increased repair costs.

The following are file photos of a recent inspection highlighting a motor yacht’s wood hull – general condition and the extent of the structural work necessary to put right, plus the associated high labour costs involved



For more information contact:

European Marine Services Ltd

Marine Surveyors & Consultants | ADR Mediation  |  Expert Witness
Tel: (44) 01603 327 123